August 21, 2018

Washington Redskins: Same old tune as Skins implode during third quarter in order to lose to Jets

The Washington Redskins had six starters out for Sunday’s battle with the New York Jets, not including the additional three sitting on injured reserve. The injury situation was so bad that in order to fill the 46-man active roster, Robert Griffin III suited up for the first time in 2015. After an initially solid start in the first half that featured Bashaud Breeland recovering two fumbles (one that he forced) and having an incredible interception, the Redskins decided to do what they do best: fall flat in the third quarter. Whether it is poor coaching when halftime adjustments should be made or the team just losing focus, the Redskins gave up 24 straight points and fell to 2-4 after a 34-20 decision.

Things looked bad early. Kirk Cousins threw slightly behind Ryan Grant on a slant pattern to start of the game and getting behind in the down-and-distance led to a three-and-out. Luckily for the struggling offense, Kyshoen Jarrett came up with a big hit on Eric Decker and forced a fumble on the Jets first offensive snap. Being set up on a short field and scoring a touchdown was something the Redskins had not accomplished in their previous 28 opportunities. That changed, as Cousins completed passes for first downs to Jamison Crowder on a screen, Grant on a key third down, and Alfred Morris on a dump off. Two plays later, Pierre Garcon had a great hip fake on Darrelle Revis and hauled in the pass on a slant route to put the Redskins up 7-0.

On the ensuing Jets possession, the Redskins nearly forced a three-and-out, but Chris Ivory was just barely able to pick up the first down on third-and-1. After giving up a well-executed screen and reception to Brandon Marshall who was matched up with Perry Riley in a zone, the defense forced another third down. Unfortunately, Kyshoen Jarrett could not stick with Eric Decker in the slot after slipping on the route and after a couple of missed tackles the Jets were set up at the Redskins 1-yard line. Two plays later the game was tied at 7 after a Ivory touchdown.

The Redskins avoided going three-and-out with a nice catch-and-run to now-starting tight end Derek Carrier. Then Cousins’ poor execution showed up again. After overthrowing an open Garcon, Cousins under threw Chris Thompson on a wheel route that should have been a touchdown instead of an incompletion that forced a punt. Just as the Redskins defense looked to force a three-and-out, Jason Hatcher whiffed on a potential sack that allowed Fitzpatrick to scramble for a first down on third-and-9. On the next play, Riley filled the wrong hole and fell leading to a huge 54-yard gain by Chris Ivory. Luckily, the Redskins were able to rally with back-to-back negative plays on Bilal Powell rushes and forced a field goal attempt that put the Jets up 10-7.

With the Redskins having just one first down conversion in two possessions, it looked like the game would turn into a rout early. Fortunately, the defense started playing really well. Following a three-and-out by the Jets, the Washington defense forced another fumble on a great strip by Bashaud Breeland after getting beat by Brandon Marshall on the slant. After one third down conversion to Crowder, the Redskins got a little too cute with the play calling with a double-pass that Crowder smartly threw away after almost taking a sack. The drive then stalled after Cousins threw low on third down, but Washington tied the game at 10 following a Dustin Hopkins 54-yard field goal.

The Jets looked to regain the lead before the half with plenty of time (2:17) and three timeouts. New York was driving early and were set up at the Redskins 44 after just four plays and 49 seconds to go. Two plays later, Breeland made another spectacular play. After Marshall deflected the ball when trying to adjust to the pass, Breeland laid out parallel to the ground and picked off the pass and returned it 25 yards. The return was key as it set up the Redskins near midfield and after two completions to Garcon and Grant, Washington was well within field goal range. Hopkins knocked in a 30-yarder and the Redskins held another surprising lead at halftime, 13-10.

It was not a good day for Riley, who on this occasion did not pick up Ivory out of the backfield leading to a 24 yard gain as he run away from the defense. After another Ivory first down in which Keenan Robinson was blocked by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the defense put their foot down. On another third-and-1 for the Jets, Terrance Knighton blew up the Ivory rush to force the game tying field goal by Nick Folk.

Instead of breaking the third quarter woes pattern, Cousins decided to add fuel to the fire as he made a poorly underthrown pass that was easily picked off by Revis. On the very next play, the Redskins got pressure off the edge but with no one rushing up the middle and the secondary playing man, Fitzpatrick had an easy 18-yard run for a touchdown. 10 points in 54 seconds epitomized Washington’s third quarter deficiencies and it only got worse. Following a three-and-out that featured Cousins actually overthrowing Rashad Ross on a deep route, it was garbage time for New York fantasy players.

Washington’s defense gave up a 14-yard reception to Marshall and then 24 yards to Zac Stacy over two plays. Then it was just bad luck as Marshall adjusted to a poorly underthrown ball better than Breeland and was able to slip away for a touchdown. Just like that the game seemed completely out of reach at 27-13 Jets.

The problem with Cousins, which Gruden thought was solved when initially naming him the starting quarterback, is that he does not respond well after making mistakes. Cousins unloaded a deep throw into double-coverage probably because he felt like he had nothing to lose. If that is the case, Gruden has to show that this is not the Michigan State’s product job for the season and bench him if he continues to play poorly.

With a tired defense on the field, Ivory started off the next drive with a 32-yard run featuring multiple missed tackles. The defense was unable to get off the field after forcing two third downs for the Jets that were converted by receptions by Decker and Marshall. Two plays after the latter, and the Jets had another touchdown within a minute of the fourth quarter. New York scored on their four possessions that started in the third quarter leading to 24 unanswered points.

Even though the Redskins were out of the dreaded third quarter, it was the same old tune for the offense. Cousins badly overthrew Thompson and Crowder who were both open, and then Ross dropped a potential first down catch leading to yet another three-and-out. The Jets ended up missing a field goal after an 18-yard Ivory run, which gave Cousins an opportunity to improve his stats during garbage time.

On a third-and-9 play where Cousins threw behind a wide open Chris Thompson, the Redskins drive continued because of an illegal hands to the face penalty against Sheldon Richardson. After an underneath catch-and-run by Ross, an out route completion to Crowder, and screen pass to Thompson, the Redskins were set up at the Jets 5. In my opinion, the Redskins inexcusably decided to run the ball and they ended up turning the ball over on downs after being unable to beat cover zero on fourth down. Fortunately, after the Redskins defense forced a three-and-out, the special teams made the game look a little closer when Jeron Johnson blocked a punt in the end zone that was recovered by Ross.

After Dustin Hopkins had another brilliant onside kick on the MetLife turf (two against the Giants), Mason Foster inexcusably let the ball squirm away ending all Redskins hope. The Jets then ran the clock out the rest of the way after Washington was called for running into the kicker on a punt. Washington’s season is fast approaching another cellar dweller as they fell to 2-4 on a 34-20 loss to the Jets.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

Comments

  1. time to change qbs………………………..againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Trackbacks

  1. […] sense of false hope that they would not again be the cellar dweller of the NFC East. Now after yet another collapse after halftime against the New York Jets, we are all back to reality that the Redskins are still years away from contention. Hopefully Scot […]

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